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WPA Posters

Updated on October 8, 2014

Works Progress Administration Posters Spread the Word During the Depression

WPA posters were used to spread the word in the 1930s about President FDR's Works Progress Administration, which was part of his New Deal program. Today we can enjoy these art posters for the beauty and messages they provide.

This photograph is of a fountain and waterfall at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix, Arizona. The concrete block stamped "USA, WPA" shown here was incorporated into the waterfall wall at the park.

These blocks were salvaged from the original Phoenix Indian School sidewalk and used along with stones from the school to make the waterfall wall.

The WPA originally built the Phoenix Indian School and sidewalk as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's WPA jobs program. The WPA was started in 1935 when the United States was experiencing the Great Depression.

In 1939, the WPA was renamed the Works Project Administration. This group became part of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration in 1943.

Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

Read About President Roosevelt's WPA - Works Projects Administration Books

Read more about Roosevelt's New Deal programs like the WPA and the CCC. These social programs helped people who were out of work gain employment and self respect.

WPA National Park Posters - Art Deco Posters

The WPA encouraged Americans to visit their national parks by displaying these beautiful Art Deco art posters that were created by out of work artists of the era.

The Art Deco designs are simply gorgeous and give a timeless quality to our national park system.

National Park Posters by the WPA

Workers built roads & buildings on National Park land as part of the WPA.

I've visited a few of the national parks that benefited from the Works Progress Administration during the 1930s.

WPA Poster advertising art classes for children.
WPA Poster advertising art classes for children. | Source

Are you a fan of WPA Posters?

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The Federal Writers Project - WPA Program for Writers During the Depression

The Federal Writers Project employed out-of-work writers to write city and state guides during the Depression. Famous writers like Saul Bellow, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, Zora Neale Hurston, and John Steinbeck wrote the guides.

They were not yet famous writers but like other Americans needed jobs so wrote for this program during the 1930s.

Postcard from the 1930s - WPA and Other Historic Postcards


Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

Which of these WPA posters is your favorite?

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    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 

      5 years ago

      I love the National Parks Posters. I have several reproductions. Thank you for the lens.

    • designsbyharriet profile image


      6 years ago from Indiana

      I am also a Deco fan. I love anything in that style. The WPA kept artists in business during a time when few could afford to buy art. Cheers for the WPA.

    • kimbesa2 profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      That is a tough choice! I love the deco era design. Glacier National Park, and Spare Our Trees, at least today.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      That Grand Canyon one is stunning, but I think Will Rogers appeals to me the most. Very nice selection.


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